Coif embroidery started

Since my coif has been on the frame for a while now, last night I finally started the actual embroidery on it. I started by doing the outlines entirely in stem stitch with the new filament silk I bought at Double Wars. It’s a little wierd to work with this black thread, as compared to the other colours from the same source, as it feels much thinner, for some reason. I am using it doubled, and it doesn’t fluff out as much as the other colours did on the test-piece where I tried them out.

So, the outline: I have a solid line outlining the entire embroidery, outside of which I’m going to do a narrow hem, and then embroider over it to enable me to make up the shape with insertion stitches, basically. For the top and bottom lines I decided not to follow the drawn pattern exactly, but rather follow the threads of the ground fabric. So they are exactly on grain. I have four vertical lines at the centre back of the coif, which I will also work by following threads of the fabric. The rest is all on the diagonal and I won’t bother counting. I could have stopped and rethought my thread choice before I got too far, as I’m not entirely happy with the narrowness of the outline. But that’s a little late now.

So far: 3 hours and 20 minutes of embroidery work done.

Pattern drafting done

Going from the original coif found in Patterns of Fashion 4 (page 46, coif number 50 in the book) I modified the pattern for Mary’s coif so that every other line is twice the width of the original. Actually, the original lines are 18 and 22 mm apart, and for this I am doing 25 and 50 mm alternately. Basically this is enlarging the pattern 100% but I like the effect.

For the vines in the larger lines the original has the same flower sprig repeated, and I’m replacing every other one with a peapod, because I like peadpods, and the other flowers are alternately laurel wreaths and seeblatts. Because I want to do laurel wreaths and I have to make sure I can’t give it away to someone else when it’s finished. I have seeblatts in my registered device in the SCA.

I’ve not decided which threads to use, as yet. Probably the thicker silk that I have a cone of, black, for all the outlining. I might possibly do the vines in silver thread, or I might do them in black silk. Either outline with black and fill with silver, or just do silver chain stitch.

I might do the laurels in silver thread, possibly green silk gilt twist. The seeblatts possibly in silver, possibly green silk gilt twist, possibly black silk gilt twist.

I would like to add spangles as well, but have to source them.

So there’s still plenty of decisions left.